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Kim brings world of experience to the mound for Dordt

Defender pitcher has been dominant
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 11:31 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2022 at 11:56 PM CDT
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SIOUX CENTER, IA (Dakota News Now) -When he starts a game Gyeongju Kim breaks conventional norms by tossing in the bullpen as his team goes to bat. “Because I don’t want my body to get cooled down so every out I focused on my own thing.” Kim says.

Yet coming to America from South Korea born out of a desire for new experiences. “I really wanted to play baseball with people from other countries and I always wanted to come down here and play baseball with a new perspective.” Gyeongju says.

And led to Kim meeting Nathan Bacon, then the head coach at the College of the Ozarks in Arkansas. “We saw him at an event in Dallas and we were fortunate enough to get him.” Bacon says.

That sent Kim 6,760 miles across the world from Seoul to Clarksville, Arkansas. “I couldn’t speak English at all but he (Bacon) helped me a lot with the use of body language.” Kim says.

He then had to go back to South Korea for his mandatory year of military service. After that was over, Bacon had become the head coach at Dordt, and Gyeongju followed him, traveling 6,238 miles to Sioux Center, Iowa. “There are a lot of things, entertainments and high buildings (in Seoul) a lot, but in here it’s kind of flat, a lot of cornfields. I enjoy the weather!” Kim says.

“He has just incredible pitch ability and can mix and match and can throw all of his pitches for strikes and he’s a relentless competitor out there.” Bacon says.

It didn’t take long for Kim to make an impression. In his fifth start at Hastings Kim pitched all 11 innings, threw 138 pitches, and struck out 21. “After I finished the game actually one of our baseball guys told me ‘hey kid you got 21 strikeouts’! And I was like wow I didn’t expect that one!” Gyeongju says.

The game also began another new routine. “At the time my back was pretty tight through the third and fourth innings. And I asked a man hey can you just smash my back? Yes absolutely and then he did and it kind of helps me too.” Kim says.

It was the centerpiece of a 5-5 season in which he struck out 109 batters in 68 innings with just 20 walks and 3.41 earned run average. “Kim’s got the ability to be dominant whenever he takes the mound. I’m not really too surprised by anything he does out there.” Bacon says.

Whether he gets a professional opportunity or returns to Dordt next year. “It’s really good to learn and figure out. I need to take that as my advantage.” Gyeongju says.

....Gyeongju has a world of experience to draw from!

In Sioux Center, Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.

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